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Asian Indians in Michigan

Arthur W. Helweg

Publication Year: 2002

Since 1970, a growing number of Asian Indians have called Michigan home. Representative of the “new immigration,” Asian Indians come from a democratic country, are well-educated, and come from middle- and upper-class families. Unlike older immigrant groups, Asian Indians do not form urban ethnic enclaves or found their own communities to meet the challenges of living in a new society. As Arthur W. Helweg shows, Asian Indians contribute to the richness and diversity of Michigan’s culture through active participation in local institutions, while maintaining a strong ethnic identity rooted in India.

Published by: Michigan State University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Acknowledgements, Series Acknowledgements

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pp. 1-2

Compared to traditional stereotypes of immigrant groups in Michigan, the Asian Indian population has unique characteristics. Like many of their counterparts who arrived as a result of the Immigration Act of 1965,1 they are not tired, nor poor, nor yearning to breathe free. They originate from a democratic country...

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pp. 3-7

India, the country of origin for Asian Indians in the United States and Michigan, is a land of variety. The region includes sixteen language groups (with hundreds of dialects), four religious communities, and three racial categories.2 In fact, the diversity of the country is greater than that of Europe. Although people from the Punjab region of India were the first people of Indian origin to enter and settle...

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The Old Immigration, before 1968

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pp. 9-22

Although there have been a few Asian Indians in North America since colonial times, the significant influx of these immigrants began at the turn of the century with Sikhs who claimed Punjab as their homeland and entered the continent through Vancouver, Canada. They learned about the city from soldiers who had paraded for Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1887. Many of the soldiers who were serving...

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The New Immigration, 1968 and After

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pp. 23-34

Contrary to popular opinion, the ramifications of the Civil Rights Movement were not limited to freedom, equality, and rights for African Americans. In fact, this movement pricked the conscience of the nation so deeply that other institutions were looked into as well. U.S. immigration laws and practices were found to be racist and to promote...

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Life in Michigan

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pp. 35-57

Life for Asian Indians in Michigan in particular and in the Midwest in general differs from that of Asian Indians residing on the East or West Coasts. Even within Michigan, there is a difference between life in Detroit and in a smaller city like Kalamazoo. To further complicate the matter, the patterns of living of the old immigrants differ from those of the new immigrants. To understand Asian Indian...

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Ties with the Homeland

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pp. 59-61

The primary reference group of evaluation for the Asian Indian immigrants is their home community. They want their families to be well thought of and family honor to be enhanced by their accomplishments. The speed of current communications technology enables the immigrants' actions to be evaluated as easily as if they were still living in the village in India...

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Accomplishments and Contributions

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pp. 63-65

The accomplishments and contributions of the Asian Indians in Michigan are numerous. Rajuta Bhatt is but one example. In 1993, as a student at Michigan State University, she was the sixth student and the fifth woman at MSU to receive a Rhodes Scholarship.50 Another is Madhu Anderson, who is the deputy treasurer of the State of Michigan and can take credit for saving taxpayers about $70 million. 51 In fact, one need only read the newspapers...

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p. 67-67

THe Asian Indian community in Michigan was started by a small group of Punjabis in 1924.52 The major influx, however, came after u.s. immigration laws were revised in 1965. With those changes, Michigan, like the rest of the United States, became the recipient of a cadre of highly motivated, technically skilled, well-educated, and professionally...


The Mythology of Emigration and Immigration

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p. 10-10

Population Profile: Asian Indian Americans

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p. 14-14

Asians in Michigan

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p. 25-25

Profile of Asian Indians in the United States

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p. 33-33

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Appendix 1

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pp. 69-72

The Grewal brothers of Detroit are decedents of one of the "original six" Asian Indians to settle in Detroit. Their grandfather, Sarwan Singh Grewal, left Punjab in 1921, and after staying in California for more than a year he traveled to Detroit with the group that included Arjin Singh. Sarwan Singh Grewal was a Sikh Tat from the village of Sahouli located in the Ludhiana District of India's Punjab...

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Appendix 2

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pp. 73-75

Seema Chaturvedi has a term for repeated business success: "Serial Entrepreneurship."
"Come and try it." she says, "One shouldn't be limited to creating one company in a lifetime."
Likewise, a new call to arms, businesswise, comes from Rajesh U. Kotharia, "How do we help entrepreneurs? Coaching, mentoring, access to capital."


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pp. 77-83

For Further Reference

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pp. 85-89


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pp. 91-95

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781609170486
Print-ISBN-13: 9780870136214

Publication Year: 2002